Last night’s Board of Trustees meeting was called so that the Board could interview and vote on the two final candidates in our presidential search, Dr. Joyce Estor and Dr. Elana Zolfo. Since there are ten seats on our board, a majority vote of six is required for any action to be taken, and that is true even when there are fewer than ten members present. There were only six board members present last night, which meant that a unanimous vote was required for a candidate to be accepted or rejected. Neither candidate received those six votes, and so we do not have a final candidate to present to SUNY for approval.
I know that you are probably asking yourself what the Board thinks SUNY would have done if one of the two candidates had been chosen, but that is, as Board members said during the meeting, a bridge they intend to cross when they get there. For now, the question that needs to be resolved is what the Board’s next step is concerning the presidential search itself. There is disagreement among the members about what last night’s vote means in terms of going forward. Does this mean we need to start a new search or is the current search still in effect? Are Drs. Estor and Zolfo still under consideration or will they need to reapply? Without making or voting on a formal motion to table the discussion, the board referred these issues to the September meeting, when they hope to have a full complement of members in attendance. A notice will go out prior to that meeting, which is one you should plan to attend.
At the very least, the fact that Board brought Drs. Estor and Zolfo to campus, presented them in open forums, interviewed them, and voted on their applications means that the search process moved forward if not precisely to completion (see above about the Board’s indecision about the status of the search as a whole), then at least to a point where some closure has been reached. Whatever happens next, the people who did the hard work of serving on that committee deserve our thanks.
One final note: The discussion about what happens next was a little confusing. Nonetheless, I think I have represented it accurately. If I have made any errors, please let me know and I will revise this post accordingly.